My name is Wayan Traversat and I’m a hockeyolic. It has been 6 years and it has affected my study of Computer Science quite a bit. The fact that French isn’t helping as well. I consume hockey three to four times a week as a winger in the second division.
For how long have you been playing hockey? And for how long with the Hawks?
I started playing ice hockey when I arrived in Eindhoven for my studies and my ice hockey journey started with the Icehawks.
Why did you pick ice hockey?
The reason I picked hockey began with the reason I picked up inline skates. This interest began with stories from my dad who started to skate in the 70s when he was living in Paris. Hearing his stories and seeing him glide on the pavement fascinated me. I began to learn skating by myself at the age of 19. I really wish I started earlier because gravity is unforgiving when you’re 1.80. After a bit of perseverance, I got better over the years but stopped when I got to the Netherlands.
When I arrived at university I learned about ice hockey and thought it would be an amazing chance for me to skate and finally get revenge on gravity. This was because when I would fall now, I had so much padding it felt like falling on a mattress.
What’s the best part of the sport for you?
The recklessness of the sport is something I love, the fact that I can try just about anything, push the limit and not hurt myself. In most sport am scared to try something because I might hurt myself, in hockey I wear the equivalent of a medieval suit of armor protecting just about every part of my body. That means I can give myself to 101% and still come home in one piece.
What do you like the most about the team?
The family aspect of the team is what I love the most. You feel welcome in the team and everyone will help you on the ice with tips to improve.
What’s your jersey number? Is there a reason for picking it?
Initially, I wanted to pick the number 93 for the district I was born in Paris. But that number was taken, so I picked my favorite number 17. It comes from a strange MIT experiment when people are asked to pick a number between 1 and 20 and for an unknown reason, 17 tends to come out more often. A random number for a random person like me seemed pretty fitting.
Favorite moment with the Icehawks?
It has to be going to Aachen for the inauguration of the German university tournament. It was the first time we played with a full stadium with resounding energy. Each faculty in the university built wooden towers with drummers on them to pump the crowd, people were chanting and cheering. It felt like being a professional player for one day, an unforgettable experience.
What are you known for within the Icehawks?
I’m known for my sticker helmet, my speed, and my recklessness. Speed comes with a caveat when I did not know how to brake, the wall behind the goal was my brake and my best friend. The sticker helmet was born as a fun project but also as a necessity, now everyone can watch out for the mad Frenchman on the ice.
Do you have any weird/interesting pregame rituals?
I don’t have a pre-game ritual but I have a post-game ritual; Mc Donalds.
What makes you keep coming to practices?
The energy released during the practices. At the end of practice, I feel like a monk, and weeks when I don’t have practice I feel my blood boil. Hockey is a form of therapy for me, I get in a flow when practice starts and empty all my energy and frustrations. I come home to sleep like a baby and wake up like a flower
If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to try hockey, what would it be? And why should they pick the Icehawks out of all the teams in the area?
The opportunity to play ice hockey does not come around very often, so why not give it a go. We have people from all skill level, so you will definitely have people to share your experience with. Plus the fact that we play indoor means that practice never is a pain because of the weather (cough dutch rain cough).
Plus anyone is welcome, if the ice hawks welcomed a French weirdo like me, then anyone is welcome 😉
To end this interview, can you give us a quote, no explanation?
Great success! It’s very nice! I like!Borat Sagdiyev (and Wayan Traversat, often)